Buying from bazaars, thrift stores, and yard sales may be cheap, but it often comes with some disadvantages. Most of the time, the items have been used by the previous owner, making them look worn out or ill-fitting though still good enough to be reused. Other times, you will also encounter surplus items from clothing factories being sold at insanely low prices. The only downside is they are no longer in season or have quality issues.
Thankfully, you can still upgrade the clothes to achieve a refined and elegant look. We have gathered some tried-and-tested tips and tricks to making your outfit look like a million dollars, even when they aren’t.
Stick to the basics.
Before heading out to go bargain hunting, make sure you know what items to select. Avoid buying or using clothes with too many prints or irregular cuts. While keeping your wardrobe up-to-date with the latest fashion makes you trendy and cool, remember that trends are temporary. Those new clothes you bought will be considered “dated” when the next season arrives and that’s not very practical. The same philosophy applies when buying from thrift stores. Look for classic pieces that you can wear any season and at any occasion, like a little black dress, a pair of denim pants, or shirts in plain colors. These items are easy to accessorize and can be combined with any type of clothing.
If you really need some color in your closet, stripes, plaid, polka dots, and leopard are prints that never go out of style. However, be careful when wearing them together as print-on-print outfits can make you look dowdy when done wrong.
2. Have it tailored.
“Clothes are made for an average form, certain generic measurements, and no one really has that ideal average form. We all have something different body-wise, so most likely when you put on clothing it’s not going to fit perfectly,” says designer Rebecca Moses.
In order to make the clothes fit your body, ask your friendly neighborhood tailor to adjust them to your size. This will require some effort and a few pesos but trust us, you won’t regret it. A good fit will instantly elevate that dress you bought from a clearance sale way beyond its price tag –people will assume you had it custom made!
3. Give it a wash.
Remember that items from bazaars and thrift shops might have had that dress you’ve been eyeing for months, making it look old and soiled. Revive it by giving it a good wash to remove stains and odor, just make sure to check the label for cleaning instructions. If the fabric is too delicate, have it dry cleaned and it will come out good as new.
4. Press and hang.
The secret to looking polished and put together is a neatly pressed outfit. Even an expensive top, pair of pants, or dress can look cheap if it has wrinkles all over. Smooth out the creases with an iron press or steamer the night before, then hang it in a room with open air. Any lingering odors from the garment will have disappeared by the time you wake up for work.
5. Accessorize. Accessorize. Accessorize.
Knowing how to properly accessorize your outfit is as important as the clothes you wear. Add too much and you risk looking like a jewelry holder. Wear nothing and your outfit will look uninspiring.
The best thing about having basics in your closet though is that they’re very versatile and easy to accessorize. Put a tailored jacket over the black dress you bought and you’re ready for your meeting. Add a chunky gold necklace and you can now head to your dinner date. If you do not have enough jewelry, matching the color of your shoes and bag is always a safe alternative. Just make sure they are shiny and squeaky clean.
6. Keep your outfit simple and proportioned.
The possibilities are endless when accessorizing basics, but make sure not to go overboard with it. When it comes to fashion, less is more. Sometimes, small, dainty accessories can bring out an outfit more than a large statement piece. Or if you’re more into chunky accessories, make sure the thickness is proportioned to your body.
Since cheap clothing often come in one-size-fits-all, learning how to do the tuck, cuff, and roll can do wonders for you and your outfit. This technique not only enhances your look but also allows you to fit the clothes to your body type.
When you’re putting together an outfit, always aim for a sleek and polished look. Once you’ve mastered that—no one will ever notice that you’re wearing an outfit from a discount store!